And just like that, they were gone.
I lost my favorite pair of sunglasses yesterday.
I was devastated. — I realize with all that is going on in the world right now that this is a very insignificant matter but, bear with me. — I’m not sure when they disappeared. Did they fall out of my bag when I crossed the street? Did someone swipe them from the ledge when I set them down? I nearly tore my apartment apart hoping they would turn up. No such luck.
Not only did I wear them almost daily, but they were a gift from someone who means a lot to me. I thought of him every time I wore them. Being that gifts are my love language, second only to quality time, I really value the time and attention it takes to give someone the perfect one. It’s not about money or sentiment, the right gift makes you feel known, loved, valued. Plus, they fit my face.
All that to say, after an hour of searching and checking the same bag ten times, I came to terms with the fact that indeed they were gone. I proceeded to get so choked up I nearly cried. As someone who takes great care of her things, down to labeling my phone chargers, it’s rare that something goes missing.
Can’t shake the feeling.
I felt convicted somehow, as if their disappearance was calling me out, exactly for what I couldn’t put into words. Did I feel guilty for losing such an expensive gift? Angry at my irresponsibility? Frustrated at the loss? All of the above. Yet, it was more than remorse or sadness. I felt a tinge of culpability. A tugging on my heart that this was about more than just a pair of sunglasses.
I sat with that feeling for a while and tried heavily to avoid it. I made dinner and watched two episodes of The Night Of (don’t get me started) until I got so tired I finally went to bed. Yet, I woke up to the same nagging feeling. I sat down and tried to write a blog, but nothing would come out. So, I cleaned a little, called some friends, and then sat back down to write, this time in my journal.
As I was processing my feelings, it became clear to me that this was not really about the sunglasses or the person who gifted them to me. It was more about who I trust to provide for me, who I look to for answers, and who I rely on for help.
A generous heart.
I mentioned the gift giver and my feelings towards him. He is the most generous and thoughtful person I know. The first time we hung out in LA he bought me Starbucks and cleared the table when we finished. I fought back tears of gratitude, telling him how taken care of I felt. Silly, I guess, but at that point, I was used to doing things on my own.
Since then, he’s only been consistent in his generosity. Paying for every meal we have together, surprising me with things like a trip to Catalina Island and couscous from Mendocino Farms (easily my favorite thing on this planet). Beyond his insane gifting skills, he’s become my rock, my best friend, and someone I love deeply.
Slowly but surely, I got used to him being there. Things that used to blow me away (a clean table!) I grew to expect. More than that, I began looking to him to make me feel safe.
I’d like to buy a vowel.
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know this year has been a whole lot of figuring it out. Saying goodbye to music and navigating a new career path in writing. Accepting that I’ve been called to California and making the most of living in LA. Assembling a group of friends I admire who are also pursuing their dreams so as to support one another through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. And learning how to face loneliness by pouring into self-love.
Yet, if there is one overriding theme this year it is uncertainty. Not the one minute your sunglasses are there, the next they’re gone kind of uncertainty (that’s just anguish). More like, month after month, I get new pieces of the puzzle, yet none of them seem to fit with the pieces I already have. I’ve often found myself wondering if the piece I’m working on came out of the wrong box. At times I feel I’m losing the patience, and perhaps the faith, to complete it.
It’s been such a long time since two pieces snapped together without resistance that more often than not I’m trying to smush ones together that were not made to fit. The unkowns amass haphazardly in the middle and I’m left defeated, scratching my head. Surely after nine months, this puzzle should be finished by now, or at least start to resemble the endgame.
Hence, my desire for solid ground as given to me by another person.
Learning to rely on God.
I am someone who craves assurance in the form of stability. I like finite answers, absolutes. In my search for security, I’ve relied on someone else, this giver of gifts who I’ve come to know, love and trust, to give me something I’m not meant to get from him. The kind of answers that require time, fortitude and soul-searching. The kind of assurance that can only come from God.
Sacrificing my sunglasses (okay irresponsibly misplacing them) made me realize that maybe what I’m really searching for — security, fulfillment, consistent joy — has to come from my relationship with God first.
The lack of answers, the lack of fruit, the lack of some semblance of a finished puzzle likely stems from a lack of trust, a lack of obedience, a lack of patience. I need God’s input, his wisdom, and his daily guidance, and often times I need to surrender my desire to have it all figured out.
In the meantime, I can choose to love, to let go, to appreciate and feel grateful, and to lean into God for all the unknowns. It isn’t all about the endgame, anyway. The joy often comes piece by piece.
LF Sweater (Similar) (Similiar) | Brandy Melville Jeans (Similar) | Sandals (Target) | Sunglasses (Ray-Ban) | Hair (Bumble and Bumble)
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